Russia postpones Glonass-M satellite launch from Plesetsk over carrier problems

Russia postpones Glonass-M satellite launch from Plesetsk over carrier problems
  • Clock-gray 19:19
  • calendar-gray 10 December 2019

The launch of Russia's Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Glonass-M navigation satellite, expected to be conducted at the Plesetsk spaceport in the country's east on 10 December, has been postponed due to problems with the third stage of the carrier, APA reports citing Sputnik.

"The launch has been postponed as the third stage of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket is not ready", the source said.

Meanwhile, Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos has not provided any comment on the mater to Sputnik.

The Glonass-M navigation satellite is supposed to replace the Glonass-M satellite with system number 742, which stopped operating in August after its 7-year warranty period ended.

Over the past five years, Russia has been launching no more than two navigation satellites annually. At the same time, the majority of the Glonass satellites in orbit operate beyond the warranty period. As a result, the Glonass network experienced multiple malfunctions in 2019 when only 21 devices remained operational, while a total of 24 global satellites were needed to ensure global signal coverage.

The Glonass navigation grouping currently consists of 27 satellites, including 23 operational, two in maintenance, one spare and one in the flight test phase.

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